Aromatherapy is the complimentary and alternative medicine with the use of essential oils and other scented compounds from plants. It is a method which roots lie in ancient times and along with phytotherapy have the most natural healing attributes. Essential oils are the volatile part of leaves, roots, cortex, seeds and fruits of various flowers, plants and trees and are produced with special techniques of infusion, expression and distillation. Essential Oils must be properly stored in a dark, cool, dry place, in order to last as much as possible (maximum life span is 7 years).
Other liquid substances which are commonly used in Aromatherapy treatment are hydrosols and vegetable oils. Hydrosols are aromatic by-products made during the productive procedure of essential oils and can be used for skin care, compresses, house sanitization, clothes washing and more. Many pure Hydrosols are free of alcohol and other harmful substances and can be ingested after inquiring a druggist or a physician. Vegetable oils are also called base or carrier oils because are used for diluting essential oils before they are carried to the skin. Vegetable oils come from various seed and plants and cannot be vaporized like essential oils.
Aromatherapists believe that each aromatherapy essential oil has unique therapeutic properties and the appropriate use of them can be beneficial for our health. There are many medical researches which scientifically proved that Aromatherapy may produce both psychological and physiological effects. On the other hand, doctors who circumspect about holistic medicine, doubt the effectiveness of Aromatherapy.
There are many ways to use essential oils. The most common uses are external and include massages, compresses, bath, hair shampoo, facial and skin care, room and body perfume and inhales. You can indulge yourself and heal various diseases with Aromatherapy. Stress and headache relief, sleep improvement, mood boosting, hormones' regulation, muscles' relaxation, stimulation of the immune system, blood circulation, skin diseases' healing are some of the most well known benefits of Aromatherapy.
Essential oils have the ability to penetrate skin and disperse throughout the body very quickly. Moreover, they are very potent substances and consequently attention must be paid, especially by inexperienced persons. Usually, aromatherapy essential oils should be used with carrier (base) oil and not be applied directly on skin. Furthermore, essential oils are often adulterated bye cheat suppliers with cheaper substances such as synthetic ingredients and alcohols and therefore they lose their therapeutic potential and can be dangerous at the same time.
Attention must be paid by people suffering from allergies, high blood pressure, epilepsy and women during pregnancy who should consult an aromatherapist before using any essential oil. Besides, aromatherapy essential oils must be very carefully used to babies and children due to their sensitivity.
You don not have to be an expert to benefit from Aromatherapy's natural gifts. Almost everyone can start using essential oils at home by adding a pleasant essential oil in bath or by vaporizing a relaxing essential oil with an Aromatherapy burner. Experiment with your favorite oils that fit to your desire and needs, but for aromatherapy massage and other therapeutic treatments you should visit a qualified aromatherapist.
By George Kakaris
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